Archive for Nutrition
Although I focus of the physical health of my clients through proper movement and exercise, I am also interested in their overall health and, in particular, how their nutrition affects their well being.
I came across this short (18 minute) video presentation by Dr Terry Wahls on her personal experience with nutrition as a means to heal her body and brain. I encourage you to look at it and maybe use it to establish your New Year’s resolution for 2012.
I wish you and your family a Happy New Year and look forward to working with you in 2012!
Women and Men: Exercise for Better Bones Program
Osteoporosis exercise program that strengthens bone, reduces fracture risk, improves balance and builds confidence.
Are you taking too much calcium and too little Vitamin D?
I recently interviewed Kent MacLeod, owner of Ottawa-based NutriChem Compounding Pharmacy and Clinic, and asked him what he is seeing with his clients. Kent has a clinic and biomedical lab where they perform a complete diagnosis of your health. He has found that people are coming to NutriChem with too high a level of calcium (largely brought on by usage of calcium supplements) and inadequate levels of Vitamin D.
His comment about Vitamin D surprised me given the amount of news that Vitamin D has received of late. Kent points out an interesting fact I did not know: 25% of the population do not have a linear relationship between their Vitamin D intake and the level of Vitamin D in their bodies – meaning that these people need to take higher levels of Vitamin D to build up enough Vitamin D to affect bone building.
The concern with too much calcium has been brought forward by recent studies on its effect. More studies are now confirming that more calcium is not necessarily better for bone health. A large study from Sweden published in the British Medical Journal indicates an elevated level of calcium does not improve bone strength. Kent states that in many countries with lower osteoporosis levels than Canada and the United States, the people are not taking calcium supplements.
Kent sees a wide range of clients with a variety of health issues including osteoporosis, osteopenia and low bone density. Clients are tested at NutriChem’s Biomedical Laboratory for their nutritional and metabolic status and then given a health program appropriate for them.
Her eis my interview with Kent:
Health Professionals: Building Better Bones Online Course
Learn the Prevention, Treatment and Management of Osteoporosis.
Women and Men: Exercise for Better Bones Program
Osteoporosis exercise program that strengthens bone, reduces fracture risk, improves balance and builds confidence.
Can someone tackle a chronic health problem, such as back pain, and use the opportunity to improve their fitness level and reduce their weight? A client of mine here in Ottawa for both my Physiotherapy and Personal Training services successfully managed to make all those changes.
Monique spent four years working with an Orthopedic Specialist and a Chiropractor to address a chronic lower back condition. Even though she felt she was receiving excellent care, she was not making the progress she hoped for and believed that it was time to try another approach. She also wanted to use the opportunity to change other aspects of her health.
Monique came across my website while doing a Google search for a Physiotherapist with a fitness or Personal Training background in the Ottawa area.
When we first met she told me about her back problem and stated that she wanted to “remake” herself. I sensed that Monique was committed to the changes she needed to make to improve her health and well-being.
I completed her initial evaluation and we reviewed the results together. We agreed to the following:
- She was carrying too much fat and we needed to reduce her weight.
- We would address her back problem with an exercise program that incorporated strength exercises.
- She would modify her eating habits.
Monique and I agreed on the following action plan:
- Increase her protein, fruit and vegetable intake. Monique needed a more balanced food mix. She needed the right nutrients to support her goals.
- Establish small achievable goals, which included getting up and moving every half hour. Sitting and moving in ways that supported her back as well as taking Omega 3 and drinking plenty of water.
- Daily walks that gradually increased in distance and pace over time. Monique was doing very little exercise when we first met. A daily walking routine is a great start.
- Incorporate strength exercises into her routine. Like most inactive people, Monique needed to increase her strength. This was particularly important given her history of back pain.
- Since Monique lives in a small community just outside of Ottawa (with limited access to gym facilities) her exercise program should be home based. We both wanted to make sure that she had no excuse not to exercise!
How did Monique do? Did she stick with her exercise and nutrition programs and achieve her goals?
Here is Monique’s step-by-step progress plan:
- Meet Regularly with Your Fitness Professional: Monique and I met once a week for the first three weeks to get her started. Follow-up sessions were spread further apart to encourage independence.
- Commit to Change: Her commitment to personal change overcame her resistance to exercise regularly. She forced herself to complete her prescribed walking and strength exercises.
- Reenergize: Her back felt worse when she missed her morning walk and her energy lagged. She was finally getting hooked on feeling reenergized!
As you can see in her photos, Monique is well on her way to her personal transformation.
In Monique’s words:
“Well being is the natural result of putting exercise first in your daily routine.”
Monique has not had a flare up of her back pain for several months.
As we age, our bone mass decreases – potentially leading to osteoporosis. In fact, our bone mass peaks at around the age of 30 and after that it starts to decline. The rate of decline depends on a number of factors and women experience a more dramatic decline than men. There are a number of things that you can do to slow down the rate of bone loss – with an exercise program for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis being a key factor.
A number of factors determine your peak bone mass at around 30 and your bone mass as you get older. These determinants include:
- Nutrition: Research has shown that a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and low fat dairy products is best for your bones. This type of diet is rich in calcium and is a natural and important source of micronutrients such as magnesium, zinc, copper and boron – each of which is involved in the making of new bone. You should also limit your red meat intake.
- Hormonal Factors: Your hormonal balance can greatly affect the health of your bones and the maintenance of your bone mass. A pre-menopausal woman should monitor menstrual periods to make sure that they are regular since this is a leading indicator of hormonal balance.
- Your Genes: Genetics has a significant impact on your bone health. Look into your family history and see if there is a history of fractures. Did your mother (or grandmother) suffer a hip fracture?
- Exercise: The type of exercise program you follow can greatly affect the quality of your bones. Make sure your exercise program is designed to build and maintain bone structure. (More on this later in the post.)
What You Should Do
- You should try to follow a lifestyle that builds as much bone mass as possible. This will involve following a nutritional program that builds, not reduces, bone mass. Limiting coffee and alcohol and abstaining from smoking.
- You should pursue exercise activities that stress your bone structure in novel and unexpected ways.
- Women need to monitor hormonal balance because the onset of menopause has a dramatic affect on bone composition.
- You should also consult with your physician or pharmacist regarding any medications that are potentially bad for your bones. For example, Depo-Provera is a contraceptive injection that is known to lead to bone loss.
Four Principles of an Exercise Program for Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment
Your exercise program for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis should be designed with your bone health in mind. The programs that I develop for my clients are based on four key principles:
- Bone Building is Site Specific: The effect of exercise on bone is specific to the location of the stresses caused by exercise. As a result, you should include exercises that stress different parts of your body at risk of potential fracture so that the bone tissue can be stimulated to build.
- High Mechanical Strains Affects Bone Health: The loads or stresses placed on your bones during exercise needs to be great enough to stimulate them. For example, if you can perform an exercise (using weights) with 15 repetitions and not cause muscle fatigue, you are probably not stressing the bone in that area enough to encourage bone building.
- Weight Bearing Exercises are More Important Than Non-Weight Bearing Exercises: Research has shown that weight bearing exercises are more important than non-weight bearing exercises for improving bone density. Any exercise where your bear weight through your skeleton is considered a weight bearing exercise. For example, brisk walking would be considered weight bearing whereas swimming is considered non-weight bearing.
- Keep Your Bones on Their Toes: Osteogenesis (the body’s natural process of laying down bone material) increases when the load on bone varies. If you repeat the same exercises over an over again, then your bones will learn to accommodate the strain and not build. However, if you mix up your activities and surprise your bones, then the cells in your body responsible for bone material will get busy building new bone.
Hopefully, you now appreciate that building and maintaining bone requires special attention to your nutrition, hormonal balance and exercise activity program. Your exercise program, in particular, requires special attention since certain exercise activities build bone better than other activities.
If you are interested in an exercise program for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, you can contact me with your questions.
You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where the hell she is.
While most have you have enjoyed the Holiday Season, a number of you are most likely thinking that you need to get your fitness and nutrition routine back on track. Whether it is losing the “last 15 pounds” of fat or wanting to kick start a program to get you on your path to your ideal weight goals, The Last 15, a book by Joey Shulman (a Chiropractor and nutritionist), provides sound advice on achieving your healthy weight.
I read the book over the Holiday and I will summarize the key points in the book in this article.
If you follow these steps for the next thirty days (some of us will take longer depending upon a number of factors), you will be on your way to a healthier you! Remember nothing taste as good as lean feels!
The book identifies ten steps to resetting your metabolic code in thirty days:
- Start your day with breakfast
- Eat protein rich foods at every meal and snack
- Eat ONE serving of high fiber, whole grain per day, preferable at lunch.
- Eat colourful vegetables throughout the day.
- Eat a sprinkling of good fat at every meal and snack.
- Eat two servings of fruit each day.
- Drink 8 glasses of water.
- Do not eat past 7 PM.
- Pick two treats per week.
1. Importance of Breakfast
Ms Shulman suggests several 300 calorie breakfast options:
Blueberry Yogurt Crunch
- one half C low fat yogurt + one half C berries + 2 tsp walnuts sprinkled on top
Berry Banana Smoothie
- 5 oz 1% milk + one half banana + one half frozen berries + 1 scoop whey protein isolate (vanilla) + 1tsp flaxseed oil
Cottage Cheese Fruit Crunch
- one half C 1% cottage cheese + one half C berries+ 1 small banana + 4 Tbsp bran cereal
Banana Nut Butter Spread
- 1 slice whole grain bread + 1 Tbsp nut butter (almond, peanut) + one half banana
- 2 eggs + 2 egg whites + chopped onion/green red pepper/zucchini and mushrooms + 2 oz grated low fat cheese
2. Eat Protein Rich Foods
At each meal and snack ask yourself: “what is my protein source?” Meals should have 30 to 50 grams of protein while snacks should have 5 to 10 grams of protein. (Smaller framed women are at one end of the quantity spectrum, while larger more muscular men are at the other end). Your lean body mass and activity level can help you fine tune the total amount of protein. Ask me for help in this area if you have not been given your protein goal.
Not only does protein support muscle growth, tissue repair, and hormonal and immune system function, 25 to 30% of the calories obtained from protein get used up in digesting it (compared to 10% in carbs). An ounce of meat or fish has approximately 7 grams of protein. Here is a list of protein sources to choose from:
- Hamburger patty, 4 oz equals 28 grams protein
- Steak, 6 oz equals 42 grams
- Most cuts of beef equates to 7 grams of protein per ounce
- Chicken breast, 3.5 oz equals 30 grams protein
- Chicken thigh equals 10 grams (for average size)
- Drumstick equals 11 grams
- Wing equals 6 grams
- Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz equals 35 grams
- Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 and one half oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
- Tuna, 6 oz can equals 40 grams of protein
- Pork chop, average equals 22 grams protein
- Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz equals 29 grams
- Ham, 3 oz serving equals 19 grams
- Ground pork, 1 oz raw equals 5 grams; 3 oz cooked equals 22 grams
- Bacon, 1 slice equals 3 grams
- Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice equals 5 to 6 grams
Eggs and Dairy
- Egg, large equals 6 grams protein
- Milk, 1 cup equals 8 grams
- Cottage cheese, one half cup equals 15 grams
- Yogurt, 1 cup equals usually 8 to 12 grams, check label
- Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) equals 6 grams per oz
- Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) equals 7 or 8 grams per oz
- Hard cheeses (Parmesan) equals 10 grams per oz
Beans and Soy
- Tofu, one half cup 20 grams protein
- Tofu, 1 oz, 2.3 grams
- Soy milk, 1 cup equals 6 to 10 grams
- Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7 to 10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans
- Soy beans, one half cup cooked equals 14 grams protein
- Split peas, one half cup cooked equals 8 grams
Nuts and Seeds (these fall into the fat and protein category)
- Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons equals 8 grams protein
- Almonds, one quarter cup equals 8 grams
- Peanuts, one quarter cup equals 9 grams
- Cashews, one quarter cup equals 5 grams
- Pecans, one quarter cup equals 2.5 grams
- Sunflower seeds, one quarter cup equals 6 grams
- Pumpkin seeds, one quarter cup equals 8 grams
- Flax seeds, one quarter cup equals 8 grams
3. Eat One Daily Serving of High Fibre
Choose one serving of grain from the following:
- three quarter C slow-cooking oatmeal (finished product, not three quarter C uncooked)
- one half C Kamut or spelt pasta
- one half C brown rice
- 1 slice whole grain bread
- 1 small wrap (whole grain or whole wheat)
4. Choose Plenty of Colourful Vegetables
Corn and white potatoes are not colourful!
5. Eat a Sprinkling of Good Fats at Each Meal and Snack
- 1 tsp olive oil, 10 nuts, one quarter avocado, flax seed oil, cold water fish oil, hemp , flax and chia seeds.
- Try to reduce saturated fats (full-fat cheeses, red meats), omega 6 vegetable oils.
6. Eat Two Servings of Fruit a Day
Choose your serving of fruit from the following:
- 1 small piece
- one half C cut /sliced fruit
- one half banana
- 2 small kiwis, apricots or plums
Best to eat rather than drink your fruit. But if you decide to drink your fruit, a 4 oz of juice is the suggested serving.
7. Drink Eight Glasses of Water per Day
Eight glasses of water or herbal tea a day will keep you well hydrated. If your body is low on water it will not use this precious resource for breaking down fat – it has more important functions to use it for.
If you have trouble drinking water try adding some fresh lemon juice to the water. Water is best consumed upon waking, and 15 to 20 minutes before each meal rather than with your meal. When you feel hungry, have a glass of water, chances are you were thirsty rather than hungry.
Alcohol and fat loss do not go together. Alcohol with a meal often encourages you to eat more, not counting the calories from the alcohol. Also, your fat metabolism rises almost 75% for several hours after you drink. There is one exception to the alcohol abstaining and that is red wine. If you desire you can choose a 4 oz. glass of wine as one of your weekly treats.
8. Do Not Eat Past 7:00 PM
Controlling your food intake up to 7 PM is relatively easy. It is the period after 7:00 PM that causes the most struggle for many of us as we frequently resort to late night snacking.
Avoid the snack after 7:00 PM – it can undo all the benefit you gained that day. If you are craving things past 7, tell yourself you can have it first thing in the morning. Chances are you won’t want it eat it for breakfast but if you do it is a better time to eat.
9. Give Yourself Two Treats per Week
Pick two treats per week from the following list:
- 4 oz glass of red wine
- 3 small square of dark chocolate
- An extra serving of grains (from your list under #3)
Make exercise part of your daily routine. Find a partner to work out with, set goals for yourself and do not let set backs stop you. Take each day as an opportunity to feel better about yourself. Find the best time in your schedule to make it work for you.
On Wednesday, November 18th I offered a one hour Osteoporosis Exercise and Education Seminar called “Stop the Stoop”. During the event I presented and covered in detail 10 Tips for Osteoporosis: Stronger Bones. Stronger You. The tips were well received and I wanted to share them with you. Here they are.
If you want to attend my next Stop the Stoop seminar, I have one taking place on Tuesday, December 8th from 4:45 – 5:45 PM at NutriChem Pharmacy and Clinic. To register for the seminar call 613-721-3669. Cost is $30 + GST. Hurry. There are only a few seats available.
Here are the 10 Tips:
1. Exercise as many muscles as possible, especially around your hips and spine.
2. Make your workouts count! In the first 3 months choose a resistance level that has you fatigued by the 12th repetition. With more experience, increase the resistance level so that you fatigue by the 8th to 10th repetition.
3. Include some weight-bearing, cardio building exercises into your week.
4. Keep your bones on their toes! Mix up your workouts and try new activities.
5. Remember you are what you eat, down to the bone!
6. Identify and minimize reduced bone density from:
b. Thyroid/hormonal imbalance, and
c. Gluten sensitivity.
7. Move well, avoid slouched postures at work and at play.
8. Yoga is great, but know that certain poses increase your fracture risk and that you should modify or avoid certain Yoga poses.
9. Just because you have Osteoporosis, you should not stop moving (and living)! Stay informed and adopt bone healthy activities. The result: a stronger YOU!
10. Consult an expert. Work with a Physiotherapist, Kinesiologist, Certified Athletic Therapist knowledgeable in exercise programs for osteoporosis.
You can download a PDF cheat sheet of these 10 Tips for Osteoporosis.
What is protein’s chief function?
Protein is used for building and repairing muscles, tissues, red blood cells, hair and finger nails and for synthesizing hormones. Protein is necessary for reducing the risk of iron deficiency anemia and to improve healing. Excess protein does NOT build muscle bulk—strength training does.
How much protein do I need?
To determine your daily needs, simply multiply your weight in pounds by one of the following:
0.4 to 0.6
0.6 to 0.9
Adult Building Muscle Mass
0.6 to 0.9
The above information was taken from Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook
What foods should I eat to get protein?
It’s easy to get your protein requirements because protein is found in most foods. The following are some examples of foods and their protein levels.
- Meat, poultry and fish have 7 grams per ounce
- Beans, dried peas, lentils have 7 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
- One large egg has 7 grams
It is possible for athletes to get enough protein by eating a balanced diet. Protein supplements may not be necessary, but they can be a convenient way to increase protein intake, especially for vegans.
Should I eat before I workout?
A healthy snack before you exercise will help energize your workout. A preexercise snack will help:
- Prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) with its symptoms of lightheadedness, fatigue, blurred vision, and indecisiveness—all of which can interfere with top performance!
- Settle your stomach, absorb some of the gastric juices, and reduce hunger.
- Fuel your muscles, both with food eaten in advance that is stored as glycogen, and with food eaten within an hour of exercise
Does it matter what I eat after my workout?
What you eat within the first few minutes after a workout is known as your “recovery meal.” This small meal is the most important and underrated part of training. It sets the stage for how you will feel for the rest of the day and affects the next training session.
Recovery eating is essentially reloading the muscles with glycogen. Fifteen to thirty minutes after exercising, the muscles are like sponges, waiting to refill the glycogen stores that have just been exhausted. If athletes refill within this time range, they’ll be revved to go. If they miss their window of opportunity, they’ll feel sluggish and lazy for the next event.
Carbohydrates coupled with protein appear to be the most effective combination for restoring glycogen. Eating a snack (such as a peach with yogurt) within fifteen minutes of the end of a workout and then eating a regular meal two hours later maximizes muscle receptivity.
Most of us are in the habit of starting the morning with an orange juice or stopping at Starbucks for a coffee on our way to work. However, one beverage that we should make part of our daily drinking ritual is water. It is an important part of your health regimen and care should be taken to ensure that you are drinking adequate amounts of the right water on a daily basis.
Why do I need to drink water?
Water’s main function is to maintain a stable environment inside and around your cells. Water helps you get sufficient nutrition and helps in elimination of waste in cells.
How drinkable is municipal water?
Many municipal water supplies are contaminated by a variety of chemicals. Drinking unfiltered water out-of-the-tap is not advisable.
What type of water should I drink?
You can consider installing a whole-house filtration system to reduce your exposure to toxins, heavy metals or chlorine. Alternatively, you can install a filtration system under your sink and use individual carbon filters on your shower heads.
How much water do we need?
One of he leading authorities on water and its affect on the human body is Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. In his book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, he suggests the following formula for a normal hydration level:
Your body weight in pounds ÷ 2 = Daily intake of water in ounces
Sodas, fruit juice and coffee contain water. Is that good enough?
Coke (or any other soda), tea and coffee are not proper water replacements. In fact, coffee, tea and sodas are diuretics that draw more water out of your system than they put in. Consumed in large amounts they are also responsible for drawing calcium from your body.
Juices are high in sugar and calories and so they should be used in moderation.
How do I get started?
If your water intake is much less than the recommended amount you calculated above you should increase you water intake gradually over a period of two to three weeks so that your body has time to adjust to the re-hydration process.
Does it matter when I drink water?
Yes. Here is what is recommend:
- Drink two eight-ounce glasses of water first thing in the morning and before eating or drinking your coffee, milk, juice or tea. This will replace what you lost at night and start your day hydrated.
- Drink one eight-ounce glass of water 15 to 20 minutes before each meal or snack. This will assist your digestion.
We all are aware of the important role calcium plays in building and maintaining strong bone composition. Several recent studies have shown that consuming calcium can have both positive and negative implications.
On January 16th, 2008 a New Zealand study was released which linked calcium supplementation to increased strokes and heart attacks in healthy postmenopausal women. The study participants were given 1000 mg of calcium on top of their dietary calcium intake of 860mg/day. (1) As a result of this study, members of the Scientific Advisory Council of Osteoporosis Canada released a calcium update statement suggesting that individuals calculate their total dietary calcium before considering supplements. (2)
In a different research study (3) conducted last summer, researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that fat-free milk consumption after strength training was a more effective means to increase lean mass compared to either soy protein milk or a carbohydrate beverage.
The study involved fifty-six healthy young men that weight trained five days per week (alternating muscle groups). The fifty-six men were divided into three study groups using a random selection process. Each member in a study group was required to consume two cups of a selected beverage (either soy protein milk, fat-free milk or a carbohydrate beverage) after their training session was completed.
At the end of the twelve-week study period, it was determined that the milk-drinking group lost twice as much fat as the next best group. On average, individuals in the milk group lost two pounds, individuals in the carbohydrate beverage group lost one pound, and no weight loss was achieved in the soy protein milk group.
The milk group also gained more muscle than the other two groups.
Both of these studies illustrate the importance of the source of calcium and its affect on overall health. The concerns raised with calcium supplements versus dietary calcium in the New Zealand study, as well as the benefits seen in the McMaster study of the consumption of milk after weight training gives you one more reason to ask yourself: “Got Milk?”
1. Click here to read the whole article
2. To link to the calcium intake summary from Osteoporosis Canada click here.
3. S.B. Wilkinson, M.A. Tarnopolsky, M.J. MacDonald, J.R. MacDonald, D. Armstrong and S.M. Phillips. Consumption of fluid skim milk promotes greater muscle protein accretion following resistance exercise than an isonitrogenous and isoenergetic soy protein beverage. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 85(4):1031-1040, 2007.